Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bad Art, Good, and Great

Last night Jake took me to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. If you haven't seen them perform live I definitely recommend it. I love their music and hearing and seeing it in person was very impressive and a rewarding experience. Of course I had to play their CD again today because apparently I didn't quite get enough of it last night, and while listening to it I decided to browse on their website. I really liked this one part and decided to copy it into my post below:

"Once when asked what Trans-Siberian Orchestra was about, Paul O'Neill [the creator] replied, "It's about creating great art". When asked to define what great art was, Paul said, "The purpose of art is to create an emotional response in the person that is exposed to that art. And there are three categories of art; bad art, good art and great art. Bad art will elicit no emotional response in the person that is exposed to it, i.e.; a song you hear in an elevator and it does nothing to you, a picture on a wall that gives you the same emotional response as if the wall had been blank, a movie that chews up time.

Good art will make you feel an emotion that you have felt before; you see a picture of a forest and you remember the last time you went fishing with your dad, you hear a song about love and you remember the last time you were in love. Great art will make you feel an emotion you have never felt before; seeing the pieta, the world famous sculpture by Michelangelo, can cause someone to feel the pain of losing a child even if they've never had one. And when you're trying for these emotions the easiest one to trigger is anger.

Anyone can do it. Go into the street, throw a rock at someone, you will make them angry. The emotions of love, empathy and laughter are much harder to trigger, but since they operate on a deeper level, they bring a much greater reward".

Well said, and I couldn't agree more. Good art is about creating a positive emotional response. While only amateur I am still an artist (photography, painting, writing) and how I hope to at least produce good art... but great art is definitely something to strive for! Granted what is bad, good, and great is going to be different things for different people. Just like that cliche "one man's trash is another man's treasure." I guess the key is to create what makes you happy, not what you think other people will like. If you put yourself into it and you are pleased with your creation then you have succeeded, right? And if others are moved by it as well, then that's an extra bonus!

So what moves you? What art do you enjoy?

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